Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
I was a member of Weight Watchers many, many years ago. Back then the program was much less flexible than it is today and there were many foods that we were told just not to eat. Any. Ever.
For each of the banned foods, however, someone had come up with a clever substitute. For example, peanuts were forbidden, but we were given a recipe using canned button mushroom caps. You were to bake them in the oven until they became shriveled and dry, looking amazingly like a peanut! Then you sprinkle salt on the ‘mock peanuts’ and enjoy! I remember this so clearly these many, many years later because the taste was so bad that the adverse sensory experience is seared in my brain for all time, like a tiny internal tattoo.
I am sharing one of my best recipes for ‘gluten-free sandwich bread.’ As anyone who eats gluten-free bread knows well, it just isn’t like “real” bread. Gluten is the star of “real” bread, and this just doesn’t have any. It is really mock sandwich bread, sort-of like the mock peanuts of my early dieting years. BUT! It isn’t too bad. The flax seed is nutritious and gives the bread a nice look, but isn’t essential if you don’t have any. Hardly anyone has buttermilk any more, but adding some lemon juice to white milk works fine.
The usual disclaimers for gluten-free bread are necessary:
- For sandwich-size bread use a small (length) bread pan and mound the dough up fairly high–it is going to rise, but not much.
- If you have an old-style automatic bread maker that makes tall, round loaves, try that.
- Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.
- Slice it thin, and it helps to toast it.
- Freeze what you aren’t going to use in a day or two.
- Keep experimenting until you find the taste and consistency that you can enjoy for life.
And unless you have a life-threatening allergy, eat a peanut when you feel like it. Canned mushrooms are for pizza.
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 and 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 cups brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup potato flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
3 and 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/4 cup coarse ground flax seed
1 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk mixed with 1/4 cup lemon juice)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
Grease one bread loaf pan and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1. Mix warm water, yeast and sugar in a measuring cup. Let proof for 5 minutes.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix rice flour, potato flour and starch, flax, xanthan gum, tapioca flour and salt.
3. Pour yeast water into flour mix along with eggs, butter, rice vinegar and buttermilk. Using a dough hook, start mixing on lowest speed.
4. When wet and dry ingredients are mostly combined, stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom to make sure all dry ingredients are mixed with wet. Return to mixing on medium speed for 3 minutes.
5. Form dough into loaf with your hands and place in pan. (Wet hands make this easier.)
6. Place the loaf pan with dough into a large plastic bag and secure with a twist-tie or knot. ( This will help keep the dough moist during the fairly long rising time.) Put in a warm place for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours. The loaf will increase its original volume by about 1/3.
7. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely.